Samantha Bee took the time to ask a question that’s frequently on the lips of Democratic voters on Monday’s Full Frontal: What the hell are superdelegates? Bee was on hiatus for two weeks, and during that time Bernie Sanders gained momentum in the polls, but Hillary Clinton still holds a commanding lead because almost all of the Democratic superdelegates have pledged to vote for her.
Bee first clarifies that, “Political parties aren’t the government; they’re semi-private clubs. If they wanted, they could use a Sorting Hat to pick their nominees,” but Democrats have tried to listen to the voice of the people and choose a nominee using democracy, but that hasn’t always worked. After the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Democrats rioted in the street after party officials chose establishment pick Hubert Humphrey as the nominee.
“To avoid another riot, the Democratic Party changed their rules to give power to the people, which the people celebrated by dropping a s—t ton of acid with Hunter S. Thompson and nominating George McGovern, who went on to a resounding general election victory in D.C. and Massachusetts,” Bee points out. “Four years later, they picked saintly, ahead-of-his-time Jimmy Carter, who only won because his opponent, Gerald Ford, was the Harley Quinn to Nixon’s Joker. Four years after that, Ted Kennedy waged a brutal primary challenge that left Carter as weak and defenseless as a woman left to drown in an Oldsmobile.” For those who don’t know, Kennedy escaped a sinking car, leaving a woman in the car to drown.
Democrats changed the process again in 1982, to give party insiders a say in the process. Thus, the superdelegate was formed, so bringing it back to the present, Bee asserts, “If Bernie gets more votes than Hillary, her superdelegates will drop her faster than she drops her fake Southern accent the second she leaves South Carolina. How do I know? Because they did it in ’08!” This is because superdelegates choose who they think has the strongest chance to win, and also to keep someone like Donald Trump from running away with the nomination. “Believe me, Republicans would give their left nut for superdelegates right now.”